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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  January 7, 2011 8:00pm-8:59pm EST

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the republicans have the national convention. i think there will be a third party on the type, a michelle bachman type giving barack obama the ebdge he needs. that's my betting proposition from las vegas. that's "hardball" for now. "countdown" starts now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? repealing the push to repeal health care reform. >> this is a great opportunity for all of us in america to kill the jobs-killing health care bill that is taking jobs away from the private sector. >> two reports tonight that the health care reform business tax credit led to a spike in purchases of insurance by small businesses. so the job-killing health care bill does not seem to be killing private sector jobs.
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we, congressman sessions and mike fitzpatrick do swear to uphold the constitution of the honorary mutant ninja turtles society of america. the republicans try to hit undo on the disaster. >> to the great credit of the maker of the resolution which we just got, it stipulates in the first couple of sections we violated the constitution on our very first day. arizona's transplant death panels. moved by the story of tiffany tate and the new lungs she needs, an illinois politician analyzed arizona's state budget and found ways to restore the transplant insurance budget -- 26 ways. and this illinois politician is a republican. he joins us. glenn beck defends the three-fifths compromise. >> that's an outrage unless you know why they put that in there?
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they put it in there because if slaves in the south were counted as full human beings they could never abolish slavery. >> except it still took 78 years and 600,000 american dead to abolish slavery because the original idea was to count the slaves as no fifths. so the south could not keep adding pro slavery congressman by buying more slaves. russell simmons on gross historical revisionism mixed with racism. steve king's speech defending speaker boehner's mendacity? >> the leader and speaker established their integrity and their mendacity for years in this congress. >> you keep using that word. i do not think it means what you think it means. >> all the news and commentary now on "countdown." >> that happened in this congress.
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good evening from new york. this is friday, january 7, 669 days until the 2012 presidential election. when democrats were in charge of the house john boehner called a vote on the bush tax cuts chicken crap presumably because the senate would never go along. under speaker boehner the house today took a preliminary vote to repeal health care reform, even though the repeal has zero chance of passing the senate and the white house has said if there is a meteor strike and it does the vpt will veto it. besides a repeal of the supposedly job killing health care law would in fact kill jobs. more in a moment. as for the two republicans who unconstitutionally voted twice without ever having been sworn in, oh, never mind. the gop finessing the constitution in four minutes flat. the problem, you will recall, is that pete sessions and mike fitzpatrick were at a swearing-in celebration fund-raiser in the capital instead of at the actual swearing in on the house floor
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on wednesday. when they raised their hand to take the oath while watching the tv showing the ceremony somehow that didn't count. they were sworn in for real later in the day, but they had already voted twice before then. today the house voted to delete the two votes by those men but not before congressman anthony weiner pointed out the absurd y absurdity. >> to the great credit of the maker of the resolution which we just got it stipulates right in the first couple of sections, we violated the constitution on our very first day. the constitution requirement for oath was violated and i give you great credit for recognizing that in the resolution. now you do say that it created nullities which is a way of saying we operated outside of this document on the same day we were reading it. the first time in the history of this body we are going to pass a fix of a constitutional infirmity with -- wait for it -- four minutes of debate when we
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didn't have the bill until just now. >> he pointed out that the resolution wasn't posted three day bfrs the vote, violating a new gop rule. the republican retort was it is exempt because it deals with internal house business. the other problem is that congressman fitzpatrick's celebration was a fund-raiser. his website's invitation asks for a $30 contribution but further below there were buttons to contribute more. that was captured by the huffing ton post before it was taken down. there have been calls by outside watch dog groups to investigate whether house rules were violated here, too. a letter of apology to colleagues from congressman sessions and fitzpatrick reads in part, quote, our absence on the house floor during the oath, while not intentional -- not intentional? really? the apology acknowledges that, quote, our error allowed the integrity of this great legislative body's proceedings to be called into question. let's bring in thomas frank, the
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author "wrecking crew, how conservatives rule". >> hi, keith. >> i need a perspective from where you are now. does it look in washington within even the republican caucus that the first act of a republican house was a lasty do-over of a screw-up or is it an extra beltway thing? >> i don't know what the reaction is in d.c. i don't hang around those people most of the time. no, really. i have spent time studying the tea party movement over the last couple of months and they regard this oath -- it's not just a formality for them. for you and me this is small potatoes. big deal. for the tea party movement this is a huge deal. the oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic is a special moment, a moment of communion with the founding fathers. do you remember two summers ago, 2009 there have a town hall summer --
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>> of course. >> there were fights going on all over the country over the health care bill and there was one that particularly sticks in my memory in washington state. it was representative brian baird and a constituent was going at him and really put him down in a particularly savage way. it became a big deal. it went viral on youtube. i remember the few's taunt from the floor of the town hall meeting or one of many taunts. the one that really stung, he said, you know, he had been a marine, i believe, and something like he said, i kept my oath. do you ever intend to keep yours, turned his back and walked away. it was a powerful moment. the tea party movement talks about the oath all the time. for them, the guy is out doing a fund-raiser instead of the oath? if i was one of them i would be seething, but i'm not one of them. >> yes. the fund-raising swearing in celebration will that continue to be a problem for congressman fitzpatrick or will it go away
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since they had not yet been sworn in they were not technically congressmen when they held this fund-raiser on capital property. >> oh, i don't know the answer to that. that's tricky. >> it is. >> this will blow over. nobody cares. >> we'll explore the health care rhetoric more fully in a moment. when the republicans proceed to ram through the health care repeal bill another nod to the fan base, what are they accomplishing? did i just answer my own question? >> that's not going to accomplish anything. but they can do things to the health care law. the thesis of the wrecking crew or one of the arguments i tried to make is that the way these guys work is you guess from the title by sabotaging things. you know, they can de-fund the various provisions of the health care law. if they get a chance to appoint people to positions of power in the new structure they can screw that up. there are a million ways in which they can jam the wrench in
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there. this isn't one of them. >> last point. does the budget cutting have any legs? the $100 billion now topping at $30 billion. will that be news next week? >> people play so many games with the budget business. i don't think they are actually going to try to stop raising the debt ceiling. that would be catastrophic. but on the other hand, to bring on the catastrophe would make a lot of glenn beck's prophesies come true and secondly raise the price of gold. wouldn't it? >> there you go. >> that's what it's all about. >> it very well could be. thomas frank the author of "the wrecking crew" here on sweater night on "countdown." have a good weekend. >> all right. >> house republicans voted today on repealing health care reform. the actual repeal vote is next week. the push comes despite the budget office's determination that repeal would increase the budget over ten years but the
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gop has a catch phrase and they are going to repeat it into the ground. >> we know this job-killing health care law hurts our economy. >> government-run plan paid for with job-killing tax increases. >> kill the jobs-killing health care bill that is taking jobs away from the private sector. >> job-killing mandates of obamacare are not the answer. >> repeal president obama's job-killing health care bill. >> clean the table of this job-killing flawed legislation. >> but a harvard economist says repeal would kill jobs. he estimates it would cost from 250,000 jobs to more than 400,000. that's per year for the next ten years adding that since it was signed into low 200,000 new jobs have been created in the health care industry. the l.a. times reports more small businesses are offering health care to employees because of the tax credit in the new law that encourages them to do that.
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blue cross/blue shield of kansas city reported a 58% increase in the number of small businesses purchasing coverage since april. one month after the reform tax credit went into law. now to washington post staff writer ezra klein. good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> even i get the implication of a spike in shuns sales to small business. explain it. >> a spike of sales of insurance to spal business during a horrible economy in which they are going out of business is pretty much unprecedented. it means the small business tax credit going on across the country we are seeing larger take-up than anticipated. they are taking it up because it's made it affordable for them to offer insurance for employees. that l.a. times article, if you can get it, is a powerful document. you have the business owners in there who were clearly agonizing for years that they couldn't do it for people. they said, finally it came and it's perfect. a restaurant owner says every chef who works for me, we are able to get them health care. it's wonderful.
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it mattered. >> and not the knee-jerk response that opponents say, that's part of the mandate which doesn't kick in for years. doesn't have anything to do you have to do this. they chose to. >> no, the mandate isn't operative here at all. >> is this what happens when even a flawed minimal health care reform law like the one that passed last year has gotten into effect and the benefits become quantifiable? >> absolutely. these benefits are trickling in. this is one of the first major ones, but now repeal means taking the credit from every one of the small businesses. these chefs will become uninsured again. this will be the difficulty for republicans. the cbo came out as you mentioned in the introduction and said, you guys will cost us $230 billion in f you do this and you will mean $32 million people don't get insurance the next ten years. most of the people don't have insurance yet. if they did there would be no way to do this. the thing that democrats learned is that things are popular in
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general and they get unpopular when you get specific. republicans will find out the same thing. they want to repeal it all? they are repealing the popular parts, too. we have pulled out a lot. when you repeal the popular parts and ask the american people they don't like it one bit. >> speaker boehner dismissed the rbo already as "their opinion." should democrats thus not only because of the results of the anecdotal evidence out of the insurance industry but because of boehner's attitude toward this and your point about specifics versus general, should the democrats relish rejoining the fight over health care reform on that specific level? >> they should be going to war over it. it's important for them. if democrats cannot defend a deficit reducing bill that brings health care insurance to 32 million people and allows people with pre-existing conditions, if they can't defend that you have bigger political problems than anything the republicans are doing to you.
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>> yet we know republicans have been monumentally successful at controlling the narrative on how health care reform was perceived for two years. if the democrats lost policy politics the first time around how do they avoid this time around besides a common sense approach you already suggested? >> there is good political science saying people don't like what congress does. we in the media talk about the parts people don't like. there are a lot of reasons something is happening for folks not to like it. when good policy goes into effect like the small business tax credits people begin to like it. medicare is untouchable among republicans. they keep going to the floor saying how dare you cut this socialized government health care plan or same with social security, of course. what democrats need to do is protect this thing for long enough that people can benefit from it. republicans know if they get it that far along they have no choice of getting it off the books. >> get your hands off my federally mandated tax cut and
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tax benefit and rebate for business -- it's too long of a catch phrase. >> in 2050 republicans will say, how dare you cut obamacare. >> there will be a statue to you if that's correct. ezra, thanks. have a good weekend. >> thanks. >> we are moving toward a time when the only thing that will be nonpartisan here is death. the political individual from illinois tries to restore state transplant insurance cancelled by the republican legislature in arizona. he's a republican political individual because death is nonpartisan. he joins us next. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia.
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this woman's plight, her arizona state insurance cancelled as a budget cut back inspiring a solution from a republican who says this is not a democrat thing or republican thing. this is a human thing. rewriting history to pretend the counting of slaves as three-fifths of a person was to
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end slavery when it was to extend it. >> and when you congratulate speaker boehner on his mendacity he may not feel that is a compliment. >> ♪ >> ( party horn blowing ) >> ( speaking chinese ) >> ( speaking chinese ) >> ( laughing ) >> introducing cisco umi. be together in high def on your tv. exclusively at best buy's magnolia stores. cisco.
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on monday a handful of state legislators in arizona will the try to undo a real life death panel. one man has lost a liver that was specifically donated to save his life because arizona stripped state medicaid coverage known as access from seven kinds of organ transplants leaving 100 patients to their own devices. two others died, removed from
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the waiting list because the arizona death panel wouldn't pay. now in the fourth story something encouraging. a slight ten drills of bipartisan push-back on this measure might be blossoming. an illinois man scoured the arizona state budget looking for ways to put the small amount of money back in and that man is a republican. republican governor jan brewer stood behind her decision to let some of her citizens die saying her job requires her to make tough choices. she refused to open the state's books so advocates for arizona 98 as the patients are known can determine how the governor is using stimulus money that could cover the $4 million or less to provide transplant coverage. the brewer administration had months after approving the budget last spring in which to find the money that would have allowed francisco to receive a liver from his dead friend instead of being yanked from the operating room for lack of funds. one man took it upon himself to read the state budget and reports from the auditor general
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and the ones from the treasurer, the legislature and access insurance. he hoped to find the $1 million plus along with federal matching funds to cover the transplants and he did it. his website arizona 98.com lists 26 separate ways arizona could use existing funds or raise new funds to pay for these transplants. everything from using the proceeds from a settlement with aig to selling bonds backed by future settlements from big tobacco to cutting subsidies for travel by arizona university sports teams. the man who does it doesn't live in arizona. he's from obama's district in illinois and he's a republican and an official of the republican party. that's him steven daglis. joining us now is steve. thank you for your time tonight, sir. >> thank you for having me, keith. >> before we get to the details here you told the arizona
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republicans this isn't a republican thing or a democratic thing. it is a human thing. amen. republicans make mistakes and democrats make mistakes. i wonder if you sense and fear as i sense and fear that elected politicians of both parties are terrified of admitting even a mistake of this size for fear of blowback from the bases. >> i think there is validity to the point, keith. the primary concern here is this will set a dangerous precedent. i think there are a lot of good people in government on both sides of the aisle, democrat, republican, libertarian, kentucky, liberal, across the spectrum of politics. these are good people who mean well and sometimes get caught up in the pressures of government and leading a state the size of arizona. it is a $9 billion budget and i understand tough decisions have to be made. right now, i don't think that's the way to go. here's a way to work on this and just make it right together. >> actually, 26 different ways. >> 26. >> was governor brewer thrilled
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when you sent her the list of 26 ways to pay for this and re-establish the insurance? >> that's the hope, keith. i don't know. we just haven't been able to get through to her. i'm hoping and praying and i think a lot of families are praying that these are on her desk and if they weren't they are on her desk now. she'll look at the 26 possible funding solutions, pick one or two she likes and finds suitable and move forward with it and save the lives of 96 remaining individuals now who need transplants. >> no response from the governor. i know there has been some murmurs among republican members of the arizona legislature that they want to be involved in fixing this no matter who winds up getting credit for it. but i do know you have reached out to the democrats in the legislature who were fighting this. has there been more of a response there? >> we have gotten positive feedback on both sides, keith. i got a call actually today
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which is a very encouraging from chairman california naug of the house appropriations committee in arizona, representative anna tovar on the democratic side has been helpful. leila -- i can't remember her last name ksh i believe it is aikens, has been extremely encouraging. people are looking at the options and saying, these are good ideas. these funding solutions don't take money away from anyone else. they require no new spending and they require no cuts to state services or other obligations. these are ways to restore life, restore transplant funding without taking away from anyone else. i think that's an idea that everyone wants to get on board with. just at the end of the day there is a basic sense of it's the right thing to do as a matter of humanity. like we said. it is not a democrat thing or a republican thing. it's a human thing. you guys are doing great work by keeping the story alive. a lot of the families really appreciate it. not to mention the folks you have had on the program, keith. >> thank you for saying that.
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tell me the story of what inspired you to get involved in this? >> i read the story of tiffany tate. she's only 27. i myself am 30. i read the story about how she needed the lung transplant and it struck me that she's three years younger than me. i have already been on the face of the earth for three years longer than tiffany will be if she doesn't get these transplants. i looked at what i could do as a human being to help. i'm not a wealthy man. i can't write a check to cover the transplants but i know something about politics. i know something about policy, keith. so it's kind of a stretch to think that one person could do it, but i got this crazy idea in my head that somehow, some way i could find the money. i went through, like i said, the entire budget line by line. i went through thousands of pages of audits, briefings. you know, there were people who pointed me in the right direction along the way, too. and just came up with solutions. like i said, as a conservative
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myself, keith, i wanted to find ways that wouldn't take away from anyone else but would restore life. i think these are ways to do it that everyone can agree on. republican, democrat, just as a matter of humanity. we can do this and here's how we can do it. pick one. pick one of 26. whatever floats your boat and let's do it. >> you gave them enough choices. well done. steven daglas, founder of arizo arizona98.com. thank you for being with us. >> it's been a privilege, sir. have a good night. >> you, too. >> on monday a countdown exclusive. an arizona woman fights for her daughter's heart transplant. if republicans repeal obamacare her daughter will die. the mother is the granddaughter of president franklin delano roosevelt. she and fdr's great granddaughter join us monday. russell simmons on glenn beck ahead. it was so complicated.
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glenn beck tries to whitewash the hateful 3/5 compromise. russell simmons joins me. first the tweet of the day from stephanie. wonder if bill-o thinks sex can't be explained either. i mean, something goes in, something goes out. big smiley face emoticon. i think the makris lawsuit confirms it can be explained and by him. i don't know what stephanie is referring to? let's play it again. bill's proof that religion isn't
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a scam. >> i'll tell you why it's not a scam in my opinion. tide goes in, out. never a miscommunication. you can't explain it. you can explain -- >> tide goes in, tide goes out. >> the water of the tide comes in and goes out. >> make it's thor on mount olympus. >> but you can't explain that. >> tide goes in, stains go out. but seriously, you want one of those inexplicable only god makes things happen? bill's career. let's play oddball. we begin in the republic of georgia. with every bullfighter's nightmare. a two-headed calf. born on saturday she has four eyes, three ears and a sparkling personality. the owner is forced to bottle feed the animal after the mother rejected it but the calf appears healthy and is progressing at a normal pace. when it grows up it is expected
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to go into business management. get it? the next wave in pop music, ice instruments. composer [ speaking in a foreign language ] is holding performs using music instruments carved from glaciers. he think it is music sounds best when heard in temperatures below zero. this is the plot of the move si "what's up, doc" isn't it? if you don't want to attend the sub zero concert here is a sneak peek. ♪ >> oh, race you to itunes. a chilling glimpse into the future of music, but still not the worst glacial music ever. that honor belongs to vanilla ice. no degree of difficulty on that joke. finally the neverending battle between canine and ball and --
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down goes pugsy. too anxious for a clear shot the puppy didn't notice the pool skimmer and fell in. the owner retrieved him but one thing for sure this is the biggest setback for dogs since the puppy sweater. time marches on. russell simmons on glenn beck next. ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] got a cold? [ coughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] confused what to get? now robitussin makes it simple. click on the robitussin relief finder at robitussin.com. [ nose blowing ] [ male announcer ] click on your symptoms. ♪ get the right relief. ♪ makes the cold aisle easy.
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first it was the attempt to sanitize secession by claiming it was about states rights then there was a piece about a governor who promised the legislature if they seceded they could re-establish the slave trade declare white it is ruling race and punish abolitionists severely if not with death. glenn beck wants to rewrite the nation's past this time whitewashing the compromise that extended the life of slavery. during yesterday's constitutional read-a-thon the sections containing the 3/5 compromise was omitted. beck took the opportunity to once again mangle history.
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>> 3/5 clause. african-americans, 3/5 in the south, 3/5 of a human being. that's an outrage, unless you know why they put that in there. they put that in there because if slaves in the south were counted as full human beings, they could never abolish slavery. they would never be able to do it. it was a time bomb. progresses should love that! >> in the even a broken watch is right twice a day category beck is correct to say the slaves wanted slaves counted as human but the anti-slavery draftsmen of the constitution didn't want slaves downed at all. counting slaves while denying them rights would help southern states increase their share of representation in congress and it would have been pro slavery. what's worse, the more slaves imported the more seats the south gets in the house. beck is dead wrong to claim the 3/5 clause led to the abolition
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of slavery. it led to the civil war and 60 #,000 american dead. sadly, independent didn't have to be that way. governor morris of new york proposed a sliding scale in which slaves counted less as years went on. it was rejected. yale law professor akeel ritamara explains in his book quoting, a declining ratio approach would have avoided glaring defects while putting the slavery bonus system on a gradual but sure path to elimination. slaiholding regions would eventually stop getting extra house seats as rewards. mr. beck's fascination with the remaking of the history of race relations in america isn't new. here he is last year with professional history reviser richard barton discussing african-american preacher richard allen. >> richard allen was also -- he was a preacher at a white church, a mega church. >> a mega church. he would preach to 2,000 in philadelphia. >> give me the year. >> this was about 1790s. >> how many here in the audience
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have been led to believe that in the 1790s blacks and whites hated each other, it was slavery. right? how many people -- raise your hand. how many people said -- look at that. >> yeah. >> joining me to talk about the implications of the growing historical revisionism, russell simmons, author of "super rich, a guide to having it all." nice to see you. >> good to see you again. >> it's easy to dismiss him as an idiot. >> yes, yes. >> but this is not done in a vacuum. we have the cleanup for the ses question centennial of the civil war. haley barber on how great things were in the '60s. >> a lot of it going on. >> why? >> i'm the chairman as you pointed out. we get the research. and we have been moving to a more tolerant space in this country so long as i have been chairman. this year we took a massive step
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backwards. i see it going everywhere and people are able to say things today that only 12 months ago they couldn't get out. certainly not in a board room. yesterday i was on the way to see you. i came out of yoga, excited to see you and you cancelled me. because i'm selling my book, you know, my "super rich" book, it's about consciousness and happiness. it wouldn't suit this. i'm on the way and they said, no, no. you're going to see sean hannity. >> sorry. >> he was in his happy mood. so i knew he was going to pounce on me. he read something i wrote about islamaphobia and the rise of antisemitism and the way the tea party's effect and fox's effect on the collective. it's so bad. he said islamaphobia, where? he said, where? i realize i started to talk about -- even though i'm far to the left of dennis kusenich and
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maybe you in terms of politics, i started to say i bet the president would come into a good season to finish the prison reform work, he did don't ask, don't tell. there are other things he could get done. i listened to him long enough and all the yoga just disappeared. i was thinking to myself, what if -- the power to reverse so much, to do so many things. to reverse health care. it is a real fight for this country for the soul of this country. i was surprised because i thought maybe the president would get away with -- but he's not atypical. >> i know. >> this man, glenn beck, is gaining and sarah palin's got a following. there is a group of people in this country that the level of tolerance is sliding and they are pushing it and they are part of -- it is a part of a mass movement away from the american dream. >> is the idea to go back an
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change history to make people doubt what's going on now? you say, the problem never was that bad to begin with, so there can't be a problem now? >> i'm the ambassador for the slave trade memorial for the u.n. and i think that history is important. i wouldn't accept the post unless we talked about 27 million modern day slaves. you need the history. you need to know six of seven people died in the trans-atlantic slave trade coming across. you need to know how horrific that was. that suffering is a gift to humanity so we could not repeat the same things. but do you know how short -- it takes just a second to go down the wrong path. >> yep. >> i live across the street from the world trade. imam rauf has been preaching there for years. the idea that 28 out of 29 people voted, okay, it's all right. fox news got it and the whole country, 70, 80, our
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african-american governor who knows what can happen was going to negotiate to move the prayer center. our own governor. anything can happen. we have to be careful. thank you for uncovering these things. it is serious the way we're going. >> it's unbelievable. russell simmons, the book is "super rich." pi my apologies to sending you to sawn hannity. >> my republicanist did it. i'm a who are re to sell books. by the way, you look nice without the tie today. >> i forgot it. there's been an escape of truth gas as representative steve king confirms, the quote, mendacity of speaker boehner. the premise of james thurber's story "the admiral on the wheel" and the book cover says it all. the attempted machoization of tim pawlenty before 2012. man, i don't think so.
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the iowa republican who said speaker boehner and the others mendacity could not be challenged and the first friday with thurber for 2011. a great story of life without your glasses. the admiral on the wheel. [ male announcer ] the u.s. government may soon require brake override technology on all new cars and trucks. at nissan, we think this is a good idea. so we did it... ...six years ago. [ wind howling ] nissan. innovation for safety. innovation for all. to st. cloud, minnesota. ask me what a cloud feels like... and here are the first real people to sleep on those brand new clouds. ask me what it feels like to be comforted by a cloud. a new tempur-cloud supreme... by tempur-pedic... ask me why we love our cloud...
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ask me how it's soft as a cloud... and still supports me. ask me why this is a million times better than my pillow-top. a pillow-top may look nice and puffy, but underneath are hard metal springs--- ask me why it's 'bye, bye, pillowtop!' bye, bye! the new tempur-cloud is the plushest, softest, tempur-pedic ever, and it comes with a 20 year warranty. ask me where i'd like to be right now... ask me how many people i'm gonna recommend this to... tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ask me how to take the first step to your own cloud... take the first step! call for your free information kit with dvd. call the number on your screen or visit tempurpedic.com/cloud. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. a story lacking vision. thurber's "the admiral on the wheel" next. first, get out our pitchfork for the worst persons in the world.
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the bronze to michael a. davis charged with being one of two men who held up a burger king in elmwood park, illinois. the other guy got away. davis didn't because he took a taxi and told it to wait wu when davis came out the cab driver had driven away. our silver winner, the las vegas police department. they served a jaywalking ticket on 13-year-old tacara davis. the officer didn't give her the ticket. he had to give it to her mother because tacara was unavailable. she was in a coma in the hospital because when she was allegedly jaywalking trying to join her friends on the other side of the street she was hit by a car. las vegas police issued the ticket anyway and told her mother tacara has to go to court on march 6, you know, if she's out of the coma and not dead. the vegas police department said we wouldn't do anything deliberately incense ty, which is crap. our winner, challenged for the title of craziest congressman by the newly elected allen west
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steve king made a roaring comeback. tennessee congressman steve cohen referenced republican leadership lying about health care reform and mr. king took um bridge. he should have taken a dictionary. it's important to note the definition of the word mendacity dfr before you hear the remarks. the quality of being mendacious, untru untruthful, tendency to lose. to quote "the princess bride," you keep using that word. i don't think it means what you think it means. >> as i listen to the gentleman from tennessee i have to make the point that when you challenge the mendacity of the leader or another member there is an opportunity to rise to a point of order. there is an opportunity to make a motion to take the gentleman's words down be many of the members are off in other endeavors. i would make the point that the leader and the speaker have established their integrity and
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their mendacity for years in this congress. i don't believe it can be challenged and those who do so actually cast dispersions on themselves for making wild accusations. >> you bet your ass. we will never again challenge the mendacity of speaker bane around the republican house leadership. congressman steve, he just said boehner has the tendency to lie, king. today's worst person in the world. ♪ tell me lies ♪ tell me sweet little lies
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james thurber lost vision in one eye as a boy and the sight in his good one gradually deteriorated to the point that he spent two decades of life blind. those who knew him say this didn't make him happy. at least in his writing he found a way to smile about it. first published in "let your mind alone" i'm reading it from
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the wonderful library of thurber writings and drawings edited by g garrison keiler. he describes in "the admiral on the wheel." when the maid stepped on my glass it is other morning it was the first time they had been broken since the late thomas a. edison's 79th birthday. i remember that day because i was working for a newspaper and i had been assigned to go to west orange that morning and interview mr. edison. i got up early and in reaching for my glasses under the bed where i always put them i found that one of my more sober and reflective scotch terriers was chewing on them. both tortoise shell temples -- the pieces over your ears -- had been eaten and she was toying with the lenses in a jaded way. it was in going over to jersey that day that i realized that the disadvantages of defective vision, bad eyesight, are at least partly compensated for by its advantages. up to that time i had been in
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the habit of going to bed when my glasses were broken and lying there until they were fixed again. i had believed i could not go very far without them, not more than a block anyway, on account of the danger of bumping into things, getting a headache, losing my way. none of those things happened. but a lot of others did. i saw the cuban flag flying over a national bank. i saw a gay old lady with a gray parisol walk through the side of a truck. i saw a cat roll across the street in a small, striped barrel. i saw bridges rise lazily in the air like balloons. i suppose you have to have the right proportion of sight to encounter such phenomena. i suppose occulists told me i have two-fifths vision without glasses. with three-fifths or better i suppose the cuban flag would have been an american flag. the gay lady a garbage man. the cat a piece of butcher's
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paper. the floating bridges smoke from tugs hanging in the air. with perfect vision one is trapped in the workaday world. a prisoner of reality as lost in the commonplace america of 1937 as alexander selkirk was lost on his lonely island. for three days after the maid in cleaning the apartment stepped on my glasses i had not put them far enough under the bed. i worked at home and did not go uptown to have them fixed. it was in this period that i made the acquaintance of a chesapeake spaniel. i looked out the window and after a moment spotted this noble silent dog lying on a ledge above the entrance to a brown stone house in lower 5th avenue. he lay there, proud and austere, sleepless, never eating, a perfect watch dog. no ordinary dog could have got up on the high ledge above the doorway. no ordinary people would have owned such an animal. the ordinary people were the people who walked by the house and didn't see the dog.
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i got my glasses fixed finally and i know now the dog has gone, but i haven't looked to see what object occupies the spot where he staunchly stood guard over one of the last new york houses on 5th a. perhaps an unpainted flower box or a cleaning cloth dropped by a careless menial. the moment of disenchantment would be too hard. i never look out that particular window anymore. sometimes at night even with my glasses on i see strange and unbelievable sights, mainly when i am riding in an automobile which somebody else is driving. i never drive myself at night out of fear i may turn up at the portals of so mystical monastery and never return. last summer i was riding along a country road when i cried out to him, look out! he slowed down and asked me sharply what was the matter. there is no worse experience than to have someone shout at you to look out for something you don't see. what this driver didn't see and
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i did, two-fifths vision works magic in the night -- was a little admiral in full dress uniform riding a bicycle at right angles to the car i was in. he may have been starlight behind a tree or a billboard advertising moxie. i don't know. i'd recognize him if i saw him again. his beard was blowing in the breeze and his hat set at a rakish angle like admiral beatty's. he was having a swell time. the gentleman driving the car has been stiff and distant with me. i suppose you can hardly blame him. to go back to my daylight experiences with the naked eye it was me, in case you have heard the story, who once killed 15 white chickens with small stones. the poor beggars never had a chance. it happened years ago when i was living at j. in new york. i had a vegetable garden behind the house and the lady asked me to keep an eye on it in my spare
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moments and to chase away chickens from neighboring farms that came peeking around. one morning getting up from my typewriter i wandered behind the house and saw a flock of white chickens invaded the garden. i had to be sure misplaced my glasses but ekd see well enough to let the chickens have it with ammunition from a pile of stones that i kept handy for the purpose. the lady of the house had the twilight before placed newspapers in paper bags to ward off the effects of frost. it was one of the darker experiences of my dimmer hours. suddenly i suppose when the crowds are heavy and the rain coming down and the pressure of reality is too great i shall take my glasses off and go wandering into the streets. i dare say i may never be heard of again. i imagin

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